Covid-19 infection rate crosses 8%
Pakistan vaccinated a record 940,830 people against the novel coronavirus on Friday, according to the National Command and Operation Centre.
This is the highest number of Covid-19 vaccine doses administered across the country in a day.
According to Special Assistant to the PM on Health Dr Faisal Sultan, the government’s target is to immunise one million people in a day. Pakistan aims to vaccinate 40% of its population in big cities by the end of August.
This development comes amidst a surge in Covid-19 cases across the country, especially Sindh and Punjab. Experts have warned that Pakistan has entered the fourth wave of infections.
In the last 24 hours, over 5,000 new cases were reported. Of these 2,000 were from Sindh. The positivity rate in Pakistan has jumped to 8.2%. This is the highest since May 2021.
The Sindh government, in a bid to control the rapid coronavirus spread, has imposed a lockdown in the province, with a focus on Karachi, from July 31 to August 8.
Here are the new SOPs announced by the government:
Most of the cases reported in Sindh and Punjab are of the Delta variant. The new strain, first traced in India, is highly transmissible and lethal.
Earlier this week, Sindh Health Secretary Qasim Soomro said that all new cases reported in the province are of the Delta variant. The infection rate in Karachi alone was reported at 30%. The city is running out of ventilators and HDU beds at both public and private hospitals.
The Delta variant appears to cause severe symptoms such as:
• Stomach pain
• Loss of appetite
• Hearing loss
• Joint pain
Other symptoms include skin rash, change in the colour of toes, sore throat, shortness of breath, as well as loss of smell, diarrhea, headache, and runny nose.
Health experts in Sindh have discovered a new mutation of the coronavirus’ Delta variant – Delta wild or Delta Plus.
According to the World Health Organisation, the Delta Plus/wild variant contains a new mutation in the spike protein of the novel coronavirus. It enters human cells and is called K417N.
Closely linked to the Delta variant, the new mutation has been named ‘Delta Plus’ by the WHO’s naming system for COVID-19 variants. So far, the Delta Plus variant has been reported in relatively low numbers across the world.
Vaccines aren’t a perfect defence. Some fully vaccinated people needed hospital treatment and died after catching the variant. This variant’s advantage is its ability to partially evade the immune system in people who are already vaccinated.
The guidelines to avoid exposure to the new variant are the same: